Posts Tagged ‘Comic Sales’

Wonder Woman Comic Sales Stay Strong With Highest Sustained Run In 20 Years

September 27, 2016

rebirth.png

There have been several relaunches of Wonder Woman over the past few years, along with significant creative revamps that didn’t change the numbering, and each came with a sales bump. However, few of these sales bumps lasted for long. Generally speaking, every comic book series drifts down the chart each month without big events or creative changes to bump up sales, but Wonder Woman in particular has quickly slid back down do a midlist level after every bump. Until now. The numbers for the “Rebirth” relaunch are doing quite well, and mark Wonder Woman‘s best sales run over the course of the last 20 years (the timeframe for which we have sales data).

Here are the new Wonder Woman‘s numbers thus far, along with the book’s place on the charts:

  • Wonder Woman Rebirth #1 – 15) 94,458
  • Wonder Woman #1 – 9) 107,737
  • Wonder Woman #2 – 12) 103,759
  • Wonder Woman #3 – 21) 94,465
  • Wonder Woman #4 – 19) 85,329
  • Wonder Woman #5 – 29) 77,860

This is an extremely impressive run. The numbers are starting to decline, but that’s normal. What’s not normal is the slow rate of decline. Usually, the second issue drop off is massive; shops order lots of the first issue because a) they have a bunch of variant covers and whatnot, b) folks will be keen to check out a new series, and c) some collectors pick up every first issue in hopes they’ll be worth something some day. Then the second issue drops off huge, and things taper down until the book finds its level.

Wonder Woman #2 barely dropped at all, partly because retailers underestimated the appeal of Wonder Woman #1 (they ended up ordering another 11,870 copies of the book the next month) and perhaps also because of the series dual storyline. Wonder Woman #2 was essentially a #1 issue for the new “Year One” arc. Whatever the reason, the book saw a remarkably small second issue drop.

And while things have continued to drop from there, it’s still doing extremely well relative to past performance. With the New 52 relaunch, Wonder Woman #5 was down to 57,675 copies sold, so “Rebirth” is ahead by 20,000 copies. The 2006 relaunch from Allan Heinberg, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson was a bit higher, with 64,410 copies sold for their Wonder Woman #5, but “Rebirth” is still well ahead AND that run’s #1 issue sold considerably higher, coming in at 132,586 issues sold. So by five issues in, it was down more than half. Now, the “Rebirth” Wonder Woman is down only about a quarter with five issues out.

On top of this stellar sustained print run, digital sales are higher than they’ve ever been. DC doesn’t release their digital numbers, but the print numbers are only part of the story. However well the book is doing in comic shops, there are even more sales elsewhere.

“Rebirth” is general has been great for DC, and it’ll be interesting to see how long it holds. Focusing on core characters and double shipping is a bold gambit that’s been paying off so far, and the gradual roll out has helped things. But there’s a new Marvel NOW! line coming this fall that’s aiming to bite into DC’s increased market share. The numbers may shift in the months to come.

But for now, Wonder Woman is doing spectacularly well. Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp are crafting a book with a broad appeal, and the adventures of the Amazing Amazon are in more hands than they’ve been in over the last two decades. It’s nice to see Wonder Woman finally getting the attention she deserves.

Advertisements

Wonder Woman #1 was a Top 10 Comic in June, Sold Over 100,000 Copies

July 20, 2016

ww01a

DC Comics’ “Rebirth” line seems to be doing well for the publisher thus far. After months upon months of few of their titles hitting the top of the charts, DC had 7 of the 10 best selling comics in June, and 15 of the top 20. Marvel still had a considerably higher market share, but it will be interesting to see how things progress over the next couple of months as the new “Rebirth” line continues to unfold. With just a handful of new books in June, DC was able to take many of the top spots.

And two of those spots were held by Wonder Woman titles! She was right in the thick of things, reaching her highest sales totals in a decade. The special oneshot Wonder Woman Rebirth #1 came in at 15th place with 94,458 copies sold, while the debut issue of the ongoing series, Wonder Woman #1, landed at 9th place with 107,737 copies sold. I can’t even remember the last time a Wonder Woman title made the Top 10, but I can tell you that it’s been exactly ten years since Wonder Woman sold more than 100,000 copies; in June 2006, the Allan Heinberg/Terry and Rachel Dodson relaunch sold 132,568 copies.

This is a phenomenal debut for the new Wonder Woman. With the New 52 relaunch five years ago, the highest total Wonder Woman hit was 79,060, so these numbers blow that out of the water handily. Moreover, they’re a huge leap from May’s numbers when Wonder Woman #52 and Superman/Wonder Woman #29 sold 29,673 and 28,569 copies respectively. That is quite a jump. See what happens when you make comics that aren’t terrible? People will want to buy them.

Wonder Woman also did very well relative to DC’s other new books. Only Batman and Superman sold higher, as did DC’s big prestige series, The Dark Knight III. Wonder Woman topped The Flash, Green Lanterns, Detective Comics, Action Comics, Green Arrow, Titans, and Aquaman; for much of the New 52 era, Wonder Woman was fell behind many of those titles. Between Wonder Woman’s high profile with the DC Cinematic Universe and the 75th anniversary, along with the much hyped return of Greg Rucka, folks seem to be very interested in Wonder Woman again, for the first time in a long time.

Now, these numbers are going to drop next month, probably by a lot. Second month drops are always the worst, though it’ll be interesting to see how Wonder Woman #2 does since it’s a different storyline with a different artist; that might be steady. But Wonder Woman #3 will probably be down if it follows the usual industry trends. Nonetheless, this is a monster debut for the new series that will hopefully teach DC that it’s far more profitable for them to put out Wonder Woman comics that are actually good.

Sales For Wonder Woman Up 8% In August, Superman/Wonder Woman Up 6%

September 29, 2015

wwaugust

Wonder Woman #42 had a terrible July, tumbling almost 20% in the second month of DC’s mini-relaunch, while Superman/Wonder Woman #19 slipped down as well, falling 8%. But looking at the August sales numbers, things have improved for both series.

After selling 36,668 copies in July, Wonder Woman came in 39th place on the charts in August with 39,646 copies sold, an increase of 8%. Superman/Wonder Woman sold 36,666 copies in July, but came in at 41st place on the charts in August with 38,834 copies sold, an increase of 6%. Nothing substantially changed for either book; Wonder Woman had Ian Churchill on art, but the change was announced so late that I doubt the ordering was affected in any significant way. Superman/Wonder Woman had the exact same creative team, and both books continued their storylines that began with DC’s mini-relaunch in June.

Taking a look at the DC books around Wonder Woman on the chart, we see a similar trend. The Flash was up 11%, Action Comics rose 10%, and Green Lantern jumped 8%. Such consistent gains for these titles suggests something else is at play. It’s not that folks are suddenly getting interested in Wonder Woman’s current adventures, so much as there was a uniform gain for DC’s titles.

This may be a course correction as retailers try to figure out how many of each books to order, seeing as they’re just a couple of months into the mini-relaunch. Perhaps they under-ordered everything in July, and then increased all of their orders in August as they searched to find the right purchasing level. That might have had some influence on the sales numbers, but I think it was probably minimal.

Instead, I think the real source of these gains were the Bombshell variant covers, where DC heroes are drawn like World War Two era pin-ups. These covers are wildly popular, so much so that they’ve spawned their own series, DC Comics Bombshells (which premiered HUGE in August with 59,253 copies sold, an epic debut for a digital first series), as well as tons of merchandise. The second round of Bombshell variants ran in August, on all of the titles listed above, and so it seems likely that retailers upped their orders to get more of the covers for their enthusiastic customers.

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #13 went without a variant cover, and dropped 4% to 10,175 copies sold. The book’s not long for the world now, with only four print issues left, and the low sales are a significant reason why. For some reason, all of these character-based digital-first book, like Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman have petered out around this point.

Ultimately, the variant cover boost was a big help for Wonder Woman’s two mainline titles, but I doubt that the Green Lantern 75th anniversary variants in September will be quite as impactful. It’ll be interesting to see what next month’s numbers bring, and it should give us a better picture of where Wonder Woman’s books stand with readers.

Sales for Meredith and David Finch’s Wonder Woman Fall Significantly in July, Down Nearly 20%

August 11, 2015

wwjuly

The sales numbers for July are out, and DC Comics continues to struggle against Marvel and their very successful Secret Wars event. Marvel took the top spot in terms of dollars and number of units sold by a massive margin, and things are looking rather grim for the #DCYou mini-relaunch. Everyone at the DC offices in Burbank must be feeling pretty disappointed with how things are going thus far.

Meredith and David Finch’s Wonder Woman is among the many DC books that had a bad July. After coming back flat last month after the “Convergence” break with no significant change in sales, the book took a huge fall. Wonder Woman #41 was in 48th place on the charts in June with 45,284 issues sold, but in July Wonder Woman #42 tumbled down to 56th place on the charts with only 36,668 issues sold, a drop of 19%. It’s the book’s lowest showing since the Finches took over (excepting the annual; those always have lower sales).

Wonder Woman wasn’t the only book to fall, though. Among the titles closest to it on the chart, Green Lantern #42 was down 14%, Action Comics #42 was also down 14%, The Flash #42 fell 12%, and New Suicide Squad #10 declined 16%. Wonder Woman had the worst decline, but none of its DC companions in that region of the chart had a good month.

With all of these steep drop-offs, Superman/Wonder Woman #19 did relatively well. It actually rose on the charts from 61st place to 57th place, though the numbers were down: Superman/Wonder Woman #18 sold 39,787 copies and Superman/Wonder Woman #19 sold 36,666 copies. But it was a drop of just 8%, not so great on its own but decent compared to all of the other DC books near it. Nonetheless, both mainline Wonder Woman titles are cascading downward.

In happier news, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman stayed fairly stable. It sold 10,761 copies in June and fell to just 10,623 copies in July, a drop of only 1.3%. That’s a miniscule change, and a decent showing for a digital first series. It’s selling considerably better than The Flash TV show tie-in comic, for example, and that show’s a huge hit. Floating near 10,000 is a bit of a worrisome spot, but if Sensation Comics can stay above that line then hopefully DC will keep it around for a while.

August should be an interesting month for the mainline Wonder Woman books. We’ll learn if these drops are just a second month adjustment for DC’s new line or if readers are actually falling away at a worrisome rate. Wonder Woman‘s relatively large drop suggests the latter; sure, everything in that area was down, but Wonder Woman was down the most. If the numbers continue to fall, I’d imagine a new creative team and possibly a substantial revamp will be on the horizon.

Wonder Woman’s June Sales Are Flat Despite #DCYou Push

July 14, 2015

juneww

The sales numbers for June are out, and DC Comics can’t be thrilled with the results. They’ve been talking up their June mini-relaunch for months, with their slew of new titles and dramatic changes to returning books. They started a hashtag, #DCYou, and had commercials and everything. The result? They got trounced. Marvel accounted for 43% of the comics sold in June, and DC only had 28%. Their share of overall dollars was even lower, coming in at 25%. The numbers were comparable to May, when Marvel was boosted by a huge push for Secret Wars #1. To top DC so handily in June without such a push is a surprising turn of events, and must be a blow for everyone at DC.

In the midst of DC’s middling month, Wonder Woman didn’t fare particularly well. Meredith and David Finch returned with two issues, and the first was Wonder Woman Annual #1, the conclusion to their first arc. It sold only 29,189 copies, down 35% from the 45,172 copies Wonder Woman #40 sold in April. The first issue of their new arc performed better than the annual, but didn’t move many more books than they did in April; Wonder Woman #41 sold 45,284 copies, a gain of just 0.25%.

Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke were back on Superman/Wonder Woman with similarly unimpressive results. After Superman/Wonder Woman #17 sold 39,868 copies in April, Superman/Wonder Woman #18 returned in June to sell 39,787 copies, a drop of 0.2%.

The changes for both series were negligible, but several of the DC books around the Wonder Woman titles on the chart showed decent improvements. The Flash rose 7.5%, Green Lantern was up 8%, and Action Comics, buoyed by the “Truth” storyline jumped 15.4%. Superman/Wonder Woman is part of “Truth” as well, but saw no gains whatsoever. Also, much like Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman, those three titles had the same creative teams return to the book, so there was no big creative shift to inspire their gains.

The first month of a big, new initiative is always tricky. Some books will be over-ordered, some under. It’s hard for shops to gauge what readers will want, and we may well see higher numbers for both Wonder Woman titles in July. But at first glance, both books had a poor showing. No real gains despite all the hullabaloo about Wonder Woman’s new costume in Wonder Woman and the “Truth” storyline in Superman/Wonder Woman makes for a weak debut. While the July numbers will really tell the tale, the June numbers are looking rough.

Sales For Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman Continued To Improve In April

June 1, 2015

wwsales

For some reason, people keep buying Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman, even though both books have been uniformly terrible as of late. It’s confounding, but so it goes. In fact, sales were up for both titles in April after the books got pushed back from their original March release dates. DC tried to have all of their series wrapped up in March before “Convergence” launched in April, but a few slipped through the cracks, including both Wonder Woman titles.

Wonder Woman #40 sold 45,172 copies in April, for 46th place on the charts. That’s a 6% increase from the book’s February sales. Superman/Wonder Woman #17 sold 39,868 copies in April, coming in at 59th place on the charts, with an increase of 3% from February.

Both books also had sales increases in February, so this is two issues straight of growth for the Wonder Woman titles. When the February numbers came out, I attributed most of this gain to the month’s Harley Quinn variant cover line, seeing as every DC book with such a cover saw a substantial increase in sales. There is no such uniformity this month, but there is an interesting trend.

The books that came out in March, on time, didn’t see any sort of cohesive sales change. A few were up, a few were down, some were about the same. It was all over the map. However, the books that got pushed back to April were all up. Batman #40 rose 11%, Justice League #40 was up 8%, Harley Quinn #16 rose 8%, and Superman #40 increased 5%. The gains for both Wonder Woman titles are in the ballpark of this range, if slightly lower than most of them, as one might expect from lower tier titles; all four of the books I just listed are among DC’s bestsellers.

So, the delay may have been fortuitous for both Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman, a sort of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” sales scenario. Or people might be legitimately into the books and are buying more copies, which may well be the case. Another normal month of sales would help us answer these questions, but unfortunately “Convergence” took over and now everything is set for a big push when the regular series return in June. I expect to see bigger numbers for all of DC’s books in June. Thus it might be a while before we know anything definitive about how the series are going over. If Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman come back big in June and stay solidly above their past levels, then we’ll know people are into the books. If they drop past their current levels, we’ll know interest is waning. But we probably won’t know either until July or August.

Speaking of “Convergence”, Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 did fairly well in April. It sold 44,959 copies, putting it at 47th place on the charts, right behind Wonder Woman. Among all of the “Convergence” tie-in titles, the book was ranked 13th out of 40, a decent showing. Not the very top of the pack, but certainly in the upper region of the middle of the pack. It’s certainly better than I thought the book would do, and the event in general has been quite a sales boon for DC in its first month.

So once we get the June numbers we’ll have a good base level for Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman and we can continue to observe from there. Now that I think about it, Superman/Wonder Woman might do quite well because it’s tied into the big “Truth” storyline in the Super-books for the first few months of the mini-relaunch. We may see a big jump there. I expect a jump for Wonder Woman as well, though probably less so. Time will tell!

Wonder Woman Sales Rise In February, Probably For Reasons Other Than The Finches

March 18, 2015

ww39sales

The comic book sales figures for February 2015 are out now, and Wonder Woman #39 had a decent month. After Wonder Woman #37 dropped 27% from the debut issue of Meredith and David Finch and Wonder Woman #38 fell an additional 8%, sales for Wonder Woman #39 actually rose to 42,634 copies sold, an increase of about 7%. This is a pretty sizeable jump, given how the book was trending, and I think that it had a lot more to do with what was on the outside of the book than what was in it.

Several of DC’s February comics had a Harley Quinn variant cover, and Harley Quinn is ridiculously popular right now. She’s in the middle of an impressive renaissance, with her own title selling gangbusters and a spin-off on the way. While at first glance it might seem like the Finches are catching on with readers and thus sales improved, I think that the Harley Quinn variant cover is a much larger factor, largely because sales went up for most of the titles who were part of the variant line.

Last time we checked the sales of Superman/Wonder Woman, it had dropped 6% and then 11% since the new creative team took over in November. In February, sales of Superman/Wonder Woman #16 rose to 38,550, an increase of 4%. That’s a big jump for a book that was on a steady decline.

Superman/Wonder Woman #16 also had a Harley Quinn variant cover. In fact, when you look at all of the other DC titles in the same range of the sales charts as Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman, they all sold a few thousand more issues in February and they all had Harley Quinn variant covers too. It’s a very consistent trend, with Harley as the only common denominator for all of the titles.

Sales jumps for both Wonder Woman books due to outside factors makes it hard to ascertain how the titles are going over with readers. Both books were declining, but the February numbers are just a big question mark because we can’t know how big an impact the variant covers had. We’ll have to wait for the March numbers to see where things stand; the movie themed variants DC is putting out this month look cool, but I doubt they’ll have the impact of Harley Quinn and so we’ll likely get more accurate numbers for March’s comics. The only conclusive fact we can pull out of the February numbers is that folks sure do love Harley Quinn.


%d bloggers like this: